Poem Films: “…not only in your theatre but also in the world” (Brecht)

Twitchin, Mischa. 2019. Poem Films: “…not only in your theatre but also in the world” (Brecht). In: "Contexts: International Festival of Ephemeral Art", Sokolowsko, Poland, 25-29 July 2019. [Show/Exhibition]

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Creators: Twitchin, Mischa
Abstract or Description:

In March this year, the theatre maker, theorist, and teacher, Andrzej Tadeusz Wirth, died, aged 90. An inspiration to many fellow artists, his work lives on – not least, through that of his students (such as René Pollesch) from the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen. The German name of this school – Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft – even shared Wirth’s own initials, ATW; and it was here that Wirth developed ideas that have since become internationally recognised under the title of “post-dramatic”. A defining experience for Wirth, as a student himself, was his encounter with the Berliner Ensemble in the mid-1950s. Indeed, Wirth’s translation of Brecht’s Schwejk in the Second World War was used for the play’s world premiere in Warsaw in 1957. Following his emigration from Poland in the late 1960s, first to the United States and then in Germany, Wirth continued to explore the contemporaneity of Brecht’s work, especially through his Fatzer materials. In the series of six short films to be shown here, Wirth can be heard reading some of Brecht’s theatre poems in Polish translation, recorded at his Berlin home in 2017. The texts are juxtaposed with photographs taken in London, Berlin, and Prague, and with archive images of Brecht and Walter Benjamin. While these short poem-films offer reflections on their own subjects, they also propose ways of thinking about the temporality of performance, not least in addressing suppositions about the “ephemeral” arts. Underlying these concerns is precisely that of this year’s Contexts Festival, the idea of art as a search for freedom and the cultural politics that this entails. In the light of recent debate about the exhibition of work by Natalia LL, one might also hear in the title of this video installation, “not only in your museum but also in the world.”

Official URL: http://www.contexts.com.pl/en/program/screenings
Keywords: Andrzej Tadeusz Wirth, Bertolt Brecht
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Theatre and Performance (TAP)
Date range: 25-29 July 2019
Event Location: Sokolowsko, Poland
Item ID: 26659
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 15:03
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 15:03



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